Pubdate: Thu, 06 Feb 2003
Source: Eastern Daily Press (UK)
Copyright: 2003, Archant Regional


The burglar shot by Norfolk farmer Tony Martin has been jailed for 18
months on a heroin charge after he attempted to have the case against
him thrown out - claiming his notoriety would make it impossible to
get a fair trial.

Brendon Fearon's application to have the charges dismissed under the
Human Rights Act was rejected by the judge.

"To allow this application would be to give a free hand to this
defendant and to others like him to indulge in criminal activity, only
later to claim that they could not have a fair trial because of their
notoriety," said Judge Alison Hampton.

The jury at Nottingham Crown Court took 12 minutes to find him guilty
of supplying heroin to a friend as he was being transported from
Newark police station to a security van.

Andrew Cohen, defending, had urged the court to throw out the case
because of his client's notoriety. He said: "The Martin case is not
something that has just gone away. There is a PR machine behind Mr
Martin and this has ensured that his case has been kept in the public

Fearon, 32, of Albion Street, Newark, and accomplice Fred Barrass were
fired on by Martin as they attempted to burgle his rural home in
Norfolk in 1999. Barrass died in the incident and Fearon suffered leg
injuries for which he has begun attempts to sue Martin for loss of

Martin has recently been refused parole and remains in jail after his
conviction for murder was reduced to manslaughter last year.

In mitigation, Mr Cohen said that Fearon had been supplying the heroin
in an act of mercy towards his friend, who was an addict. "He also
suffers the result of his gunshot wounds inflicted by Mr Martin," he

Judge Hampton said Fearon had put himself in danger of injury by
breaking into Mr Martin's house.
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